One Dry Spell Is Bad Enough
June 18, 2017 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Single woman, in the midst of perimenopause, but not on HRT, wants to amp up her sex life and so is seeking an in-the-moment solution for...dryness.

I'm late 40s and have been having symptoms of pending menopause for about 6 years now - but they've been pretty manageable, and I don't like messing with my biochemistry so I'm not on HRT. However, I've also been single for all that time (not for lack of trying, mind you!) so it wasn't until just recently, during a "funtime", that I discovered that I also have the vaginal dryness as a symptom; it was pretty uncomfortable and nearly brought us to a halt. Since i'm trying to rev my dating life up again, I'd like to fix this!

I'd like to do something to alleviate that particular issue, but since I'm not in a regular relationship I don't want to start any kind of regular medication routine to alleviate it just yet. Is there some kind of as-needed solution, other than just using lots and lots and lots of lube?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
other than just using lots and lots and lots of lube

My partner is in a similar situation for Reasons, and anyway this has been our response to the dryness issue. We use a water-based lube that I can't remember the name of right now. It works. (At least for resolving the dryness.)
posted by tobascodagama at 7:21 AM on June 18

Replens is a non-hormonal vaginal moisturizer that you can find over the counter at drugstores or online. You don't apply it during sexytimes, but rather use it overnight, because it's a moisturizer rather than a lube. You don't have to worry about side effects because it doesn't contain hormones. (You will need to wear a pad or panty liner to contain any drips - though IME those are minimal, not a gushing mess.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:29 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]

I have non-menopause-related dryness and lots of lube has been the answer for me.

Apologies if this is something you already know, but: One thing about lube is that there are actually a ton of different kinds for a reason — it's not just pointless market segmentation, the different kinds actually have different pros and cons. So it's worth experimenting to find one you like.

In particular, some lubes last longer than others, and if you get a longer-lasting one you don't have to reapply as often or use as much. Silicone-based and hybrid lubes are way longer-lasting than water-based lubes, but they have their own downsides — you can't use them with silicone sex toys, and some people find the texture of 100% silicone-based lube kind of offputting, though the hybrid ones are a lot better on the texture front. If you don't use latex condoms you can try oil-based lube too: again, it's longer-lasting than water-based. I've heard from cis women who swear by coconut oil as lube, though I've never tried it myself and I've heard other people report it gives them yeast infections. And even among the water-based ones, there's lots of variation in texture and longevity depending on what ingredients have been added.

Anyway, point is, if you're dissatisfied with the lube you've tried, it really is worth experimenting with different ones.

posted by nebulawindphone at 7:41 AM on June 18 [7 favorites]

Agreed: try different types of lube. My rec would be to order a sample of basically every Sliquid variety that appeals to you - the Sassy is my preferred water-based and the Silk Hybrid is a best-of both-worlds situation (and safe with non-silicone and premium silicone devices).

You may also need something to make it a little easier to get lube applied internally, and I was going to recommend oral medication syringes but I can't find any on Amazon that actually list what the gasket is made of - if it's silicone, you can't use it with silicone lubes. (For all I know, there's a purpose-built device for this...and look, Amazon has suggested me one, just know if you click on that link it's going to weird up your suggested products for a while) But half the battle is getting enough of it in the right places, not just flinging it everywhere and hoping some gets where it needs to be, which is sometimes all you're going to get from the original dispensers.

Repackage if you need to, either into smaller dispenser bottles or pump bottles or something that won't gum up as badly as water-based lube does in click-top bottles.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:48 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]

I was going to recommend oral medication syringes but I can't find any on Amazon that actually list what the gasket is made of

You can also use the cheapass applicator things that come in boxes of yeast infection cream. They don't last forever, but they're cheap and plentiful so they don't need to.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:54 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if this falls in the HRT category or not. Estring is a vaginal insert that helps prevent dryness and atrophy. It's a prescription product, lasts 90 days. They are expensive, but the company offers a coupon that brings the cost down to between $15-25. I've used it for over 14 years. It makes a world of difference.
posted by jennstra at 10:10 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]

Piggybacking on Lyn Never, Sliquid makes a "sample box" with a bunch of one-use packets in a variety of their different types. I highly recommend it.
posted by augustimagination at 10:17 AM on June 18

[This is an answer from an anonymous commenter.]
Vitamin E, applied vaginally, can be helpful for this. There are suppositories that you can order online, but in my experience the soft-gels available at the store work just as well. Like the Replens suggestion, it's not an "in the moment" solution, but it's also not a daily medication (I find a couple of times a week is sufficient).
posted by cortex at 10:29 AM on June 18

As a 68 year old with an active sex life I recommend "lots and lots of lube". Try some good ones. Visit a well stocked sex shop and ask for recommendations, get samples or small sizes to try out. I like different ones at different times. Try to get a positive attitude towards lube, it's really your friend - the difference between a slippery good time and a disappointing if not painful encounter.
posted by CINDERELLEN at 11:05 AM on June 18 [4 favorites]

One thing that makes lube less annoying is to get it in a pump bottle. This allows for one-handed use and keeps it from spilling everywhere if it falls over. I'm a fan of Slippery Stuff brand and it's not expensive.
posted by metasarah at 3:58 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]

If you know when the sexy times are going to occur you prepare by thinking sexy thoughts. Spend a good hour or so, four hours is good too, thinking lots and lots of sexy thoughts and looking at sexy pictures or drawings if such things exist for you, whatever works for you. Thinking seems to work better than touching for some women but your mileage may vary. I don't mean vague thoughts, I mean concentrated thoughts and steady thoughts. Intense thoughts. Get yourself going.

One Harlequin Temptation or Silhouette Blaze might well do the trick. I suggest you pick one with a farfetched plot such as where the heroine is a navy seal rescuing a top American diplomat and son of the President of the United States from a jungle in the middle east so you won't take it seriously and compare your affectionate and chubby new lover in his fruit of the loom boxer briefs with the lean hero of the novel who wears nothing but a suntan, a Cartier Rotondo de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch and a thirteen inch erection. Of course romance fiction may just make your snigger, but that's okay too, as long as it gets you going. And you can still use lube as a back up.
posted by Jane the Brown at 3:54 AM on June 19

I've found Astroglide to be very helpful for this exact situation.
posted by Lynsey at 1:38 PM on June 19

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